- The definition of a soap opera is a highly dramatic radio or television show.
An example of a soap opera is the daily television drama Days of Our Lives.
Used by arrangement with John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
- A drama, typically performed as a serial on daytime television or radio, characterized by stock characters and situations, sentimentality, and melodrama.
- A series of experiences characterized by dramatic displays of emotion.
Origin: From its originally having been sponsored by soap companies.
soap opera - Phrases/Idioms
A radio or television serial with stock characters in domestic dramas that are noted for being sentimental and melodramatic. For example, She just watches soap operas all day long. This term originated in the mid-1930s and was so called because the sponsors of the earliest such radio shows were often soap manufacturers.
Real-life situation resembling one that might occur in a soap opera, as in She just goes on and on about her various medical and family problems, one long soap opera. [1940s]